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In response to the recent rule proposal regarding school vaccine requirements by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), Senator Steven Oroho and Assemblymen Parker Space and Hal Wirths are officially submitting questions and concerns to the NJDOH regarding these potential changes.
“The very basic question we are asking, that parents need to know, is why the NJDOH reached out to stakeholders and requested input on proposed changes to vaccine requirements for school children,” said Senator Oroho. “If the administration does not plan on requiring the COVID-19 or HPV vaccines, it should be transparent in its actions with parents and legislators. This type of behavior raises many red flags and makes it seem as if the administration is trying to change policies behind closed doors.”
The NJDOH sent a Request for Stakeholder Input advising groups to privately submit their recommendations and included a presentation with rule changes that were under consideration. Among those rule changes were the “Immunization of Pupils in School.”
“Who are these stakeholders and why are they granted exclusive access and influence over NJDOH policy?” Assemblyman Space asked. “This is yet another example of the Murphy administration attempting to bypass input from the public and the legislature.”
The current vaccine recommendations from the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) for the CDC include COVID-19, Influenza, and HPV—none of which are mandated for children to attend school in New Jersey.
“Throughout the pandemic, the Murphy administration ignored calls for legislative oversight and used countless executive orders to enact draconian COVID policies,” added Assemblyman Wirths. “It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if the administration was trying to avoid the public spotlight while trying to change vaccination policies for our school children. The NJDOH should be more transparent in its actions and tell New Jerseyans what this ‘Request for Stakeholder Input’ is really about.”
“This is rightfully a great concern with this rule proposal and parents must stay engaged,” concluded the three legislators as they strongly encouraged parents and other interested parties to register their concerns with the NJDOH.
The legislators are sponsors of legislation, S-3267/A-4938, which prohibits mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of attending public K-12 schools.